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Will The New Stimulus Package Save Restaurants On The Brink Of Collapse?

A pedestrian walks past a closed sign hanging on the door of a small business in Los Angeles, California.
A pedestrian walks past a closed sign hanging on the door of a small business in Los Angeles, California.

After months of inaction, Congress is set to pass the nation’s second largest stimulus package ever. The nearly $900 billion deal would extend a national moratorium on evictions, an additional $300 for federal unemployment benefits, and a direct payment of $600 to many Americans. But what does the new stimulus package do for small businesses, including restaurants?

For business owners across the country, the pandemic has left many struggling to keep their doors open while thousands have been forced to close down. Now, the new package would extend loans for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and provide billions in small business grants.

We’re checking back in with Travis Russell, a restaurant owner in Wichita, Kansas. Back in August, Russell had to furlough his staff to stay open.

Have Congress or state and local governments provided enough help? And if they haven’t — what do small business owners like him still need?

This reporting is part of 1A’s Across America collaboration with KMUW in Wichita, Kansas. 1A Across America is funded through a grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 that is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting.

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